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Samanar Hills, Madurai

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#13 of 39 in Things to do in Madurai
Geologic Formation Nature / Park
Samanar Hills or Samanar Malai is a hill rock complex located in Keelakuyilkudi village, from Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. The hill has been declared as a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India.InformationSamanar means Jain in Tamil and malai means hill. This hill has caves where Tamil Jain (Samanar) monks lived. The hill was also known as Thiruvuruvagam.Samanar Malai has several Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions, a number of stone beds and many sculptures, which shows authority for Jainism in the ancient Tamil country. The hill contains two famous sculptures, Settipodavu and Pechipallam, that show images of Jain Tirthankaras made by Jain monks in the 9th century BCE. The Settipodavu contains the image of Mahavira, the last tirthankara of Jainism. The Pechipallam contains eight sculptures, including Bahubali and Mahavira.Archaeologists have also found 2000-year-old Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions and Vatteluttu writings. The inscriptions reveal that hundreds of Jain monks took sallekena (fast unto death) there. There are flat rocks, called stone beds, used by the monks to take rest.
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Where to stay in Madurai

Nestled in the central district close to the main religious sites lie a number of budget and mid-range accommodations. Located on the tangle of streets of this central area, the hotels and hostels have little space to work with, but offer rooms right in the heart of the city. If you're looking for something with a little more room to move and a more relaxing atmosphere, have a look at what's on offer in the more suburban areas to the west, and north across the river. Luxury hotels and resorts mimic the city's past regality, with infinity pools galore, fine-dining restaurants, and well-appointed rooms.
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  • This is not the usual places one visits in Madurai. We had hired a taxi and showed driver the place on google maps. The communication was a little difficult but we could make it here. We did not know ...  more »
  • If you want to see Madurai in a off beaten path visit this place approximately 12 kms From Madurai Railway Junction. At the base of a small Hill is a lotus pond and ayyanar Temple the Village Diety an...  more »
  • I was glad to go there, and honour the many people who have resided there seeking enlightenment over the centuries. Our rickshaw driver told us not to go to the other side of the hill as some people d...  more »